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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

More parents protest testing



A growing number of Florida school districts are adopting — or at least considering — the resolution decrying over-reliance on high-stakes testing that's making its way around the country.

Parents here and elsewhere are supporting the backlash, as Reuters reports:

"In a growing number of states, scores on standardized tests weigh heavily in determining whether an 8-year-old advances to the next grade with her classmates; whether a teen can get his high school diploma; which teachers keep their jobs; how much those teachers are paid; and even which public schools are shut down or turned over to private management.

"Parents frustrated by the system say they're not against all standardized tests but resent the many hours their kids spend filling in multiple-choice bubbles and the wide-ranging consequence that poor scores carry. They say the testing regime piles stress on children and wastes classroom time." 

Perhaps the issue really is more about how parents, teachers and others overemphasize the test — FCAT frenzy, as we've called it — and not the test itself. Everyone of a certain age we've talked to remembers taking the Iowa, Stanford or some other test while growing up, but never did it come with so much stress.

Let's turn the discussion, then. Rather than being anti-test, let's ponder ways that schools can still do all the assessments they need but not freak out. We've seen great examples in some schools, with some positive results. Schools that don't have the pep rallies, the endless drills, the continual focus, trying instead to just teach and then test when the day arrives.

What do you think could work?

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 8:05am]


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